Iberian peninsula

so close, yet so different

There’s something undeniably enchanting about the Iberian Peninsula encompassing Spain and Portugal. While it’s undoubtedly a tourist hotspot, venturing beyond the beaches and boardwalks reveals a deeper, more authentic experience. Off the beaten path, you’ll encounter the finest cuisine and be embraced by the warm, lively spirit of village life, set against vast, untouched landscapes.


Surprisingly, I hadn’t explored Spain much until my thirties. Aside from a brief teenage holiday in Salou – hardly a meaningful encounter. However, upon finally immersing myself in the country, it felt like a genuine revelation. Familiar yet distinct, Spain exudes an effortless charm.

People, particularly the older generation, maintain an impeccable appearance, and charming boutiques line every street. But the true gems are the bustling markets, where indulging in a culinary feast won’t break the bank.

One standout region is Extremadura, a three-hour drive from Madrid, boasting some of Europe’s most captivating vistas. Once a retreat for the Romans, its villages now teem with ancient ruins, adding a layer of historical intrigue.

Giving Spain a second chance proved immensely rewarding.

Valencia, January 2013
Andalucia, July 2013
Basque Country, June 2015
Barcelona, July 2015

Malaga, July 2016
Madrid & Extremadura, January 2018
Castilla y Léon, December 2019/January 2020


Let me be unequivocal: I adore Portugal. From its pristine beaches and rugged coastlines to vibrant cities and delectable cuisine, it’s a haven waiting to be explored. Yet, bafflingly, it remains underrated and overlooked by many.

During one extended visit for a television project, I found myself stationed in Albufeira, the epitome of the ‘touristy’ Algarve. Extremely hectic in the summer months. However, my downtime was spent traversing the breathtaking coastline, a spectacle unmatched in Europe. The stark contrast between the tranquil Mediterranean shores in the south, with their soft sandy tones, and the wild, rocky Atlantic coast to the west, where waves crash against towering cliffs, is nothing short of awe-inspiring. This juxtaposition mirrors the disparity between bustling Albufeira and the serene, rural corners of the Algarve.

Algarve, July 2010
Lisbon, January 2014
Porto, November 2017